"America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time." -- President George W. Bush

BREAKFAST WITH THE FOOL
Attacks Keep Wall Street Closed

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By Dave Marino-Nachison (TMF Braden)
September 12, 2001

Wall Street will remain closed today as the nation continues to reel from yesterday's series of terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that left heretofore uncounted thousands dead and injured. The World Trade Center was destroyed, as was a section of the Pentagon, and the passengers of four commercial airliners are all believed dead.

"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings," said President Bush in a statement delivered last night at 8:30 p.m., "but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."

Bush is to meet with security and defense advisors today and an FBI press conference was reportedly to take place this morning. A terrorism expert told the The Washington Post that while Osama bin Laden is among the suspected masterminds of what appears to have been a carefully orchestrated plan, "in the firmament of the Middle East, it's very hard to say with any sort of certainty."

Thousands of government employees have already returned to work, including many in the still-smoking Pentagon. Several, but not all, of Washington's universities have re-opened.

A Bloomberg story said global central banks have pumped billions of dollars into the money markets as they look to stave off a worldwide economic recession. Some market observers claimed they were seeing preliminary signs of a recovery but now the Federal Reserve may lower interest rates even further. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is understood to be flying to the U.S. from Switzerland, where he was attending a meeting of central bank governors, today.

In New York, meanwhile, relief crews -- which struggled into action yesterday because of fire, smoke, rubble, and crowding -- hope to find not only Wall Street professionals and visitors who may still be alive in the towers but hundreds of police and fire department personnel who were among the earliest arrivals to the scene.

New York's telephone operators have received several emergency calls from the mobile phones of individuals apparently trapped in the remains of the towers, according to National Public Radio, lending hope to the rescue efforts. An estimate of yesterday's death and destruction is likely still several days away.

News to Go

The SEC is expected to announce today when U.S. markets will reopen.

The flow of corporate business announcements has come to a virtual halt as companies concentrate on locating employees who might have been traveling or working in either New York or Washington yesterday. Reports say Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM) co-founder Daniel Lewin and MRV Communications (Nasdaq: MRVC) CFO Edmund Glazer were on one of the airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center.

Asian stocks plummeted in Wednesday trading, according to reports, while European issues were mixed. Continental insurers believed to have exposure to yesterday's damages were widely hurt in overseas sessions.

The Federal Aviation Administration has not yet reopened the skies for air travel.

Many Islamic Americans, meanwhile, are on alert. A spokesman for the Washington-area Council on American Islamic Relations, The Wall Street Journal said, is advising individuals who wear Islamic attire to stay indoors.

Dave Marino-Nachison is exhausted and sad. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

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